Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flury of activity

It's spring-- and that means lots of projects. First up: a new, old-fashioned lawn mower for Elisha-- he spent the afternoon happily pushing it around- wonder how long that will last? :) He was pretty excited to be a big guy now and be able to help in home responsibilities-- and what better way to teach work ethic?
Next stop, time to smell the posies~ even though I know most people dread the dandelion weeds, I've always loved them. So does Elizabeth :) Time to add a fence to the infinity yard-- I keep telling the guys they make really neat infinity-edged pools that would work out great back there :) On to lessons in patience while Daddy's in the bike-mechanic business. Time for best friends... until Elizabeth steals Lydia's bike. And what better way to finish off spring activity, than with a messy, ice-cream treat face?!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Great Science Book

Hey Moms-- just found a great resource book for Science called 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science-- contains questions (yep- 101 of them) with answer guide, plus resource list. Check it out from Science Naturally. Recommended for grades 4-12(+) -along with some grown-ups like me :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

couldn't resist

One more flower picture- OK, two more. They were just too beautiful!

Little Steps

When you have 4 children, it's quickly easy to see just how fast you can accumulate 'junk'. Many days, it seems like it's everywhere, and if you don't stay on top of it, it will soon run you out of the house.

Along with the junk, it's easy to see what a throw-away society we are. Everything these days seems to be disposable- for our 'convenience', but I have to wonder if that convenience tends to teach us a poor character trait of wastefulness, and help to fuel our lack of appreciation for things. And don't get me wrong- I'm just as guilty as anyone else.

It seemed like we were going through paper products at a massive rate- simple dinner napkins being at the top of the list. The children were using a little tiny corner, then throwing them away. A few months ago, I found a few yards of material, and my mom cut them into squares, serged them with her serger, and voila- pretty reusable napkins. Thanks Mom! They've worked out really well- just throw them in with the wash, and I feel better that the children are learning to reuse things. Every little bit helps, right?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Activity

It's been a gorgeous spring full of activity-- and I'm a little behind on my posts. Last week the children had lots of fun with good-ole sidewalk chalk. As you can see they found some more uses for it and weren't very happy when it was time to come inside.
A true work of art- that PapPap was glad the rain washed away :)

From sidewalk chalk to fun Science Center classes~Elizabeth loves the plastic ball machine~ and kept Carrie really busy with the endless pieces of KNEX. From the Science Center, it was tent time at last. But, rain was in the forecast... no problem-- a little rain is peaceful anyway, right?? Tiki torches lit, popcorn ready, marshmallows done, and Mom- yes Mom, ready to brave the wild for the night~ and 4 children should definitely be considered wild! Then it started to rain~ But a little rain during movie-time is soothing~

Until after movie-time when everyone is fast asleep- except Mom that is, the rain turns into a monsoon-- and we discover the tent is anything but waterproof! Little Lydia and Elizabeth woke up to find they were sleeping in puddles, and Mom had rain spitting in her face. At 12:30am- the tent was abandoned! Not too sure Mom will join them again anytime soon- it gave Mark too much pleasure laughing at me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

And then there were...

seven little praying mintids left. Yes, only seven-- it's been pretty fascinating watching the strong survive and quickly grow. They should shed their 'skin' in about a week.

What was always thought of a calm, peaceful insect is quite untrue! These little critters are the feistiest, meanest little things around-- I pity any little insects in their way. Sure beats watching goldfish any day! Can't wait to see who survives-

Sunday, April 20, 2008


the freshness of spring has arrived! From growing praying manitids, to tent sleeping (MUCH more on that later), and my favorite flowering tree- the magnolia tree! For the first time in years, the blossoms didn't freeze and they are more glorious than ever--

Happy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

21 Days Ago...

I began my new 'quest' of sorts. In an effort to shed some extra baggage, and more importantly become a little healthier, I embarked on a more 'raw-like' program. And how did it go?

I have certainly not, by any means, arrived at my goal. BUT- I feel better, and that's what's important. Only dropping a few pounds, I figure that's better that gaining a few more and any progress is good.

What I did right: began juicing in the morning again- and while I really dislike juiced carrots and greens- they make me feel so good- it's a kind of good you just can't explain to people. It's almost like you can feel your body's cells soaking up the nutrition and giving you instant energy.

What I did wrong: I ate more veggies, but when going 'out' they usually came on top of lots of bread- even though it was whole wheat and properly 'combined', not the best- that probably stopped a lot of the success I would have had. Live and learn and do better. I also indulged tons on my Mom's great cooking over the weekend-- how can you resist your favorite meals?? And that opened package of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies-- those little suckers are just the perfect bite-sized little tidbits...

So, aside from too much bread, and a weekend of not controlling myself- my own stupid fault, (did I mention the trip to Harry and David's and their Moose Munch free sample days - aghhhh!!?) I feel like this is a journey just beginning. Whole foods just make you feel good- especially in their natural state. I've finally found a nutritious substitute for my coffees and Lattes- woo hoo! In 21 days, I only had 1 fully-loaded, sinful coffee drink- that's a HUGE improvement for me- and last night I actually 'craved' a pear from the above picture-- over a chocolate bar- now that's true progress! I'm learning to take it one day at a time- and all of those days will quickly add up! (Right?) :)

On with the journey...

Hundreds of Babies

For inquiring minds, nope, not just one praying mantis addition- Monty II had around 100. I've read they can sometimes have up to 200. Whoa!

Guess that's why Mark ordered so many flightless fruit flies. Not very appetizing when I opened the fridge door for dinner last night! He claimed they had to stay there to calm them down before he fed them to the big bugs. I think they may have made a nice sprinkling on top of his dinner- which is what I threatened to do if they weren't removed from the refrigerator! :)
And how are the little offspring today, you ask? A little anti-climatic. They've spent the day as still as can be- sucking on a little water in a cotton ball and eating a few fruit flies. Sleep and eat, sleep and eat. At least we don't have to diaper them. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Early too!

WOW-- just noticed my ticker and Monty II was even a few days early! Not bad Monty II! Ya done good girl! Cigars anyone??

Proud Parents Once Again

Yes-- Today was the day, and NO- Monty II is NOT a dud- Woo Hoo!

I was working on the never-ending laundry adventure in the basement when my quiet, peaceful, pre-dawn hours were interrupted with 'JENNNN--- COME HERE NOW!!!' I have to admit it was pretty fascinating~I can't remember Mark being this exciting with the birth of our children :)! Check him out with video camera on hand~ Sure put the 'whammies' on my well-planned day of school- but what could be better than real-life birth? God's handiwork is truly amazing- The event took only an hour- and the kid's pre-dawn awaking left them STARVING for breakfast -hmmm..... sure are a lot of those little critters... I wonder...-- JUST KIDDING! Mark's parting words were -"hey honey could you read up on these and see when to feed them their fruit flies?" And why don't I want a puppy?? :) Love you Mark! I did feed them some flies because 'if not fed immediately, they will turn cannibalistic'--- niiiccce (so that's what happens to my children in the morning-- I just don't feed them soon enough upon waking.) Life truly is never dull here :)

All praying mantids (mom had to become educated on the plural form of praying mantis) are apparently sleeping now, and I'm sure will make quite an interesting day. Gotta love real-life homeschool adventures!

Friday, April 11, 2008


OK OK! I can't stand the guilt-- we'll take the stupid praying mantis egg sack with us so he doesn't get lonely. Alright-- the lovely praying mantis egg sack-- a homeschooling parent mustn't use the word stupid-- that's not nice. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monty II update:

Just wanted to update my faithful readers on Monty II:

And there is he just hanging around... still...

I figure that if we desert him for the weekend, maybe he'll make his way out when we'd least expect it? How's that for a theory??

Off we head for an unplugged few days-- have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

About those flowers...

I know, I know-- I said no flowers. BUT-- the bench still looked REALLY lonely :(

Pansies don't really count as flowers because they'll die half-way through the season.

And lilies don't count because under normal conditions, they'll re-appear every year. I say normal, because I'll find some way to kill them if the deer don't first. Or, Mark will weed-whack them off because they look like a weed to him. (By the way- he did notice the puny little shrubs on his own-- I was impressed!)
Plus, the deer needed some extra food anyway :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The voice was too loud...

I should have been washing windows today. Or organizing the end-of-year school chaos. Or reading with the children. But it was TOO loud-- the voice of the store. It said "Jacob REALLY NEEDS sunglasses. Look at him outside crying because the sun's so bright!"

I HAD to be obedient- after all, you have to set that example in order to teach it to your children right? And there's poor little Jacob with a true need!

We loaded up and off to our favorite ( >:I ) national retail chain we went. I promised myself NO flowers this year. What's the use- they just die halfway through the season and with the hope of some outside renovation, they'll just get in the way. I'll save myself the hassle and Mark the money--see, I'm always thinking of you darling :)

But then there's that new tent area... it sure looks bare and lonely- kind of un-inviting. And I didn't make any promises about that... Look at it-- that pitiful lonely bench. And I said no flowers - I never said anything about shrubs. Sure am glad Mark taught the kids how to plant :) And look- those nifty white flowers are solar-powered! Had to add a little 'tackiness' to the tenting area :) Now once those little bushes (one little speck on each side of the bench) brave the deer and grow a bit, don't you think it'll look MUCH better?? :) And I guarantee that Mark will NEVER notice them, unless he reads this blog- or the children open their cute little mouths :) Suppose I should go do something constructive!

P.S. Jacob LOVES his new sunglasses! :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

weekend fun

FINALLY spring has arrived, bringing the first warmer, sunny weekend in a LONG time! Jacob was all smiles, even with his messy, fruit-pie face.

The air was full of laughter and yells as the children ran and played the entire weekend. Welcome back muddy clothes. Play dough time. "This is the way," little grasshoper. Daddy was showing the little ones how to plant a new shrub.Team work! What did Mom do all weekend? Many buckets of soapy water didn't even scratch the surface. How DOES everything get SO dirty over winter?

Shelves full of pretty things, with many layers of dust-- now clean once again. For now....